Benzema Nets Own Goal, Provides Assist As Al Ittihad Reach Champions League Quarter Finals

Benzema Nets Own Goal, Provides Assist As Al Ittihad Reach Champions League Quarter Finals

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
February 22, 2024 at 6:48 PM
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Karim Benzema logo
Al-Ittihad Club logoFFrance logo
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Al-Ittihad Club logoMBrazil logo
N'Golo Kanté logo
N. Kanté
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Al-Ittihad Club logo
Al-Ittihad Club
Saudi Arabia
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Navbahor Namangan logo
Navbahor Namangan
  • Karim Benzema had a bittersweet outing for Al-Ittihad in Asia
  • The ex-Real Madrid talisman scored an unfortunate own goal
  • He also gave an assist as the Tigers advanced in the AFC CL

Karim Benzema found himself at the centre of attention for both positive and negative reasons as Al-Ittihad rallied from a goal down to defeat Navbahor Namangan 2-1, securing a spot in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.

The Frenchman was involved in both goals for his team, contributing an unfortunate own goal and then an assist for the game's true opener and the equalising goal.

Karim Benzema, Al Ittihad, own goal, assist, Navbahor Namangan, AFC Champions League
Al Ittihad punched their ticket into the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League after beating Navbahor. Photo by Khalid Alhaj/MB Media.
Source: Getty Images

Al-Ittihad will now face fellow Saudi Pro League side, Al-Hilal, in what promises to be an exhilarating last-eight clash.

How did Al-Ittihad beat Navbahor?

Despite dominating the early stages of the match, Al-Ittihad conceded the opening goal against the run of play when Benzema inadvertently scored an own goal from a free kick, putting the Uzbek side ahead, as cited by Daily Sports.

However, Marcelo Gallardo's side remained undeterred and managed to equalise just before half-time.

According to Arab News, Benzema combined with Abderrazak Hamdallah from a corner kick, providing the assist for the Moroccan forward to level the score.

In the second half, the Tigers intensified their efforts to find the winning goal, with the Frenchman coming close on several occasions, including one of his attempts being chopped off for offside by VAR.

Eventually, they took the lead in a similar fashion to their opponent's opening goal, as Georgian striker, Toma Tabatadze, scored an own goal, completing the comeback for Al-Ittihad.

Despite some late pressure from Navbahor Namangan, Gallardo's men held on for the victory, securing their place in the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League.

Benzema breaks silence on Al-Ittihad future

Sports Brief also previously reported that Benzema has spoken on transfer rumours amid claims that he was looking at a return to European football.

The Frenchman joined other top stars in choosing lucrative deals in the Middle East, after a major transfer from Real Madrid at the start of the season.

However, in an attempt to clarify the speculation on his future, Benzema said he was committed to Saudi Arabia, dismissing the reports as 'lies'.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.